This has been the hardest couple of days to date.
Yesterday, facing the doctor appointment later in the day, I drove Mom to see my grandmother. She asked if we might stop by her favorite donut shop on the way- it was a fun, and delicious diversion.
When we arrived, I was so happy to see my uncle waiting for her outside her room. He told us she was preparing to go to therapy. We decided to say hello and head on into town since we had errands to run before the appointment.
We checked my mom’s mail, paid some bills and stopped by her thrift store- her favorite place. 🙂
While there, she walked past a little girl (I later asked her mama how old she was and learned she was only 20 months), who reached out her hand to my mom. Mama thought she was saying hello but her mother said she wanted to pray for my mom. She placed her sweet little hand on my mom’s arm and bent her head. It was a touching moment I hope to never forget. The Lord shows us He is with us in so many ways.
We left and headed toward the local cancer center.
This was supposed to be a post-op follow up but because we were able to have the CT scheduled prior to the appointment, we knew from the start we would know about her cancer before we left.
The waiting room only had one other patient. She was laughing nervously but sharing with my mom how thankful she was that her results were all good and hopefully, she wouldn’t have to return to the office again.
Mama and I sat quietly. I worked on knitting dishcloths for the children’s hope chests. Mom worked on a project for Jackson. Neither of us said anything for quite a while.
Leading up the the appointment, I remembered back to my last big scare with her- this is when a lump was found in her br**st. I went with her for the biopsy only to find it had completely disappeared before the biopsy was able to be done. I had the thought this might be the same thing– all this heartache for nothing. Hmm.
At some point, I did look over at her to tell her the waiting is always the hardest part.
When they called her name, we were seated in the examination room. I think both of us were surprised they didn’t want to examine her, only speak with us. The doctor came in and sat down across from us both and told us he was surprised by what he found on the CT scan.
First, the mass they had originally removed was the size of a softball, not a golf ball. That’s a BIG difference and would explain some of the pain she has been feeling.
Next, he told us the cancer was in her lymph nodes, and “numerous nodules” in both lungs.
*My heart hurts just typing these words.*
This is *not* good news at all.
He wants to start her on chemo as soon as possible. The rest of our visit was filled with appointments, financial counseling, several people just telling us how sorry they were for the results.
I wanted to vomit.
He told us that this first round of chemo will work 50-60% of the time. This is fairly consistent with what I have read.
At some point, I was asked to step out of the room. Mama was noticably more upset when I came back. I found out later it was because he shared with her that he estimated she had at the most, 1-5 years left of her life.
She’s been crying on and off since.
This morning, we set out to find her some hats and a wig.
We went to the library where she sat to play with Meredith and I was finally able to have a private phone call with my aunt. I know my mom. I know she wouldn’t want to worry them, but I also think they need to know what is happening.
She began to cry as I told her. I wanted so much to wrap my arms around her as I know very much how she is feeling right now.
We spoke for some time.
We did stop by my thrift store again today. Looking for hats and scarves, we didn’t really find a lot, but did have a wonderful experience- another little touch from God.
I’m beginning to see how He floats in and out of the days…weaving grace and comfort with the sadness we are feeling.
A man came to us and just started talking. He spoke with Meredith and Timothy. He told me how very well behaved they both were. He asked how old they were and just kept talking. It was so odd. I found myself praying that he would just go away.
At some point, he asked if we knew why he was talking to us- he said he knew we were Christians. He said he can just sense the spirit telling him. He looked at Timothy and said that he felt the Lord was going to have him teaching the word.
He then asked about Tim and Meredith and if they were my only children- the way he asked made me think he knew there were more but wanted to be sure. I told him 12 – he looked at my mom and told her she was very blessed. Much like a story from the Bible, the Lord had taken her one child and blessed her with 12 more. He then began to tell me “train up a child in the way they should go…”. I was so scared realizing I was beginning to cry. I looked over and Mama was already crying. I shared with him her diagnosis. He told her “God is not finished with you yet”.
The whole experience was surreal…of course, so much of these last two weeks have also been surreal.
The afternoon ended with a trip to the wig store. My mom purchased a wig.
If I could ever say one thing (and there are so many) about my mom it’s that she has most always thought of everyone above herself.
When she first realized she would be losing her hair, she mentioned having it cut for an organization called Wigs for Kids. Her thought was if she was going to lose it anyway, she might as well donate it to someone who could use it. That is just *so* her. I love her so very much.
So this afternoon, we sat and tried on wigs. I could tell she wanted to cry. She has always loved her long hair. In these past years, it has become mostly silver.
I love that she looks for the good, always.
I have to rest tonight, but I also wanted to mention the letters, emails and calls I have received. I’m so very thankful for my friends. Christy, Jennifer, Ms. Ruth, on and on..these ladies mean so much to me as they have reached out in a way I needed so much.
Tomorrow, I need to sit and work on my mom’s diet. We’re going to give this fight our all.
We also need to continue to think on where to place everyone as we are a little short on bedroom space. I need a rich uncle some place to shower us with some cash…or at least some home repair materials.